Brad Smith: Microsoft Expanding Effort to Deliver Broadband to 3M Rural Residents

Brad Smith

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, has said the company plans to expand its Airband Initiative to give broadband access to 1M more rural residents from across the U.S. by July 2022.

He wrote in a blog post published Monday that the company originally planned to bring internet to 2M people but early progress following the launch in 2017 allowed the initiative to increase its target to 3M residents.

The expansion will cover rural communities in 25 states, where the company will build Airband infrastructure, provide skills training and promote public policies to accelerate investment in TV white space technologies.

“Without a proper broadband connection, these communities can’t start or run a modern business, access telemedicine, take an online class, digitally transform their farm or research a school project online,” Smith said.

The Federal Communications Commission reported that to date broadband remains unavailable to more than 19M Americans in rural areas. Smith then called on the federal government to rethink budget allocations to close the gap.

The FCC and the Department of Agriculture has provided more than $22B over the past five years to sustain, extend and improve broadband in rural America. However, Smith noted the figure remained the same since 2013 despite the growing demand across the country.

“If the federal government re-allocates just a small additional fraction of public money toward incentives for TV white spaces devices, it will help accelerate adoption, bring costs of devices down and help the ecosystem lift off,” the Microsoft executive said.

Check Also


Smartsheet Collaboration Platform Gets DISA Provisional Authorization at Impact Level 4

The Defense Information Systems Agency has granted Smartsheet provisional authorization for the company's collaborative work management platform to support at impact level 4 data in a cloud computing environment.

stock trading

Report: Public Exchange Sets $7.25 as Palantir Reference Price via Direct Listing

Denver-based software company Palantir Technologies is scheduled to debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange through direct listing and NSYE said the company’s listing will have a reference price of $7.25 a share, CNBC reported Tuesday.

John Mengucci CEO CACI International

CACI Gets $59M Task Order to Continue DoD Financial System Support; John Mengucci Quoted

CACI International will continue to help the Department of Defense's comptroller office manage, secure and maintain financial systems under a potential $59M task order. “CACI looks forward to providing DoD budget expertise and technology to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense with comprehensive support in modernizing and maintaining our customer’s critical mission systems," said John Mengucci, president and CEO of CACI and a 2020 Wash 100 awardee.